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Madeira Press, Articles, & Reviews Review of Tribal Fires

Where do I start? There are so many superlatives to describe The Madeira that I hardly know where to begin. Let's open things with introductions. 

The Madeira are:
Dane Carter - Drums
Todd Fortier - Bass
Patrick O'Connor - Rhythm Guitar
Ivan Pongracic - Lead Guitar 

I'd been reading some good things about The Madeira. My first opportunity to hear their music presented itself when a copy of Tribal Fires arrived in the mail. After popping it into the CD tray, I soon realized that all of the enthusiastic comments about the band were well-deserved accolades. The Madeira are terrific. 

Their latest CD, Tribal Fires, is a 13-track masterpiece. It's filled with an all-encompassing atmosphere of awe and mystique that will mesmerize you from start to finish. 

Tribal Fury - Opens with some kick-ass guitar picking and sets the stage for all that is to follow. Grab your bootstraps because you're in for a wild ride. Very powerful and intoxicating opening number. 

Cities of Gold - Four bars of captivating, rhythmic drumming and guitar picking at the beginning quickly resolves into a very lofty tune as is demonstrated by Ivan Pongracic when he touches the stars with his guitar at the 2:51 mark. Cities of Gold would have been a great theme song for the ancient Aztecs. 

Twilight - A beautiful song. The guitars and 'strings' are an excellent complement to one another. Cool, ethereal and other worldly. 

Fire Sacrifice - Dane Carter cuts loose with powerful and rhythmic drumming. As the guitars join in you get the feeling that something is about to happen. Stars above, fire below, I think someone is in for a very bad night. 

The Expedition - Ivan Pongracic treats us to some consummate guitar playing. His fiery double picked bridges give way to ultra smooth transitions into the verses. The Expeditionis a powerful, yet delicate number. That's a hard combination to execute, but The Madeira pull it off just as smooth as silk. 

Witch Doctor - This is a super neat song. Todd Fortier opens it with a cool, rhythmically possessed bass riff. Then some haunting, tremolo laden guitar chords come forth. Now the mood for is set for what is to become an eerie midnight festival of mayhem and madness.Witch Doctor is the perfect snake oil for whatever ails you. 

Jungle Drums - Dane Carter's hypnotic drumming lets you know that you're in the jungle. But you quickly realize that this is a friendly jungle with friendly people. Nobody could play music this beautifully and be anything but friendly. Jungle Drums is an exquisite piece of music. 

Arcadian Voyage - Poseidon is restless. Oh, to hell with that thought, it's a gross understatement. Poseidon is downright furious. I need to get off of this stranded galleon and get to shore. I can't make up my mind ... do I try to make land in the leaky old lifeboat or do I have a better chance on my surfboard? It doesn't matter. I'm done for. Poseidon is going to swallow me up no matter what I do ... and I couldn't be happier. 

Mar Vista - Wow and double wow. If you dig acoustic guitar, you're going to absolutely love this track. With an overall Spanish flair, Mar Vista has some of the most breathtaking guitar picking you're going to hear. The Madeira really set Mar Vista on fire. 

Giant - This tune is appropriately named. The Madeira give Giant a huge sound with their bigger than life playing. They've created their own 'Wall of Sound' and Giant is pounding my head into that wall ... in a very cool way. 

Pre-Ritual - A hauntingly deep guitar riff quickly induces an overwhelming hypnotic state of mind. You give in to its will. Pre-Ritual opens your mind to the powers of suggestion, rituals and what is to follow... 

The Ritual - ...I'm in that transitory state now. No, I'm not a zombie, but my mind is becoming ritualistic. The Ritual is hard to describe because it's so freaking cool. Powerful, haunting, scary, beautiful, ritualistic ... yes, ritualistic ... I've zoned in on The Ritual four times in a row and I'm headed for the fifth. Ease up, guys. Snap your fingers and bring me out of this ritual before I sit here all night hitting the rewind button over and over and over and over... 

Zanzibar - A dreamy, romantic tune. Zanzibar puts you in the mood for passionate lovemaking. This is is one of the coolest romantic tunes I've heard in many years. And the playing - it's almost as though the drums and guitars are enmeshed in their own passionate lovemaking. Absolutely beautiful. Absolutely perfect. 

Tribal Fires is a total must-have. There is no letup, absolutely no letup in the quality of the tracks on this outstanding CD. Each song is a work of art. Each band member is a consummate musician. If I could give you one piece of the advice, it would be this... Don't pass up an opportunity to get your hands on Tribal Fires.


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